February 2021 Farmhouse Kitchen
Some days, you just need a little comforting. And, sometimes, nothing provides that comfort quite like food. I mean, they call it comfort food for a reason, right?!
One dish that always brings me comfort is a big bowl of pinto beans and a chunk of cornbread. It’s simple, easy to prepare and is that hearty, stick-to-your-ribs kind of food I crave when I need a little consolation. My recipe uses smoked ham hocks to get that salty, smoky flavor, but you could opt for a leftover ham bone, diced smoked ham or even smoked turkey wings or necks. You might notice it doesn’t call for you to soak the beans before cooking them. I was always taught that you needed to soak dried beans beforehand, but science and testing have shown it’s not a must. While it does cut down on the cook time, there’s not much other benefit. Regardless, it won’t hurt if you decide to soak them.
If we’re talking comfort, we have to talk about soup. What’s more classically comforting than a bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese? How about a bowl of tomato soup that has bacon in it? I amped up boring tomato soup with a generous helping of smoky bacon flavor. Two things to keep in mind with this dish: The kind of tomatoes you use will affect the flavor, so be prepared to make adjustments in terms of ingredients.
There’s a lot more info about this at SouthernBite.com. Pureeing this soup has a great effect on the final flavor, so do not skip this step.
For many folks, there’s nothing more comforting than a big ol’ gooey, warm chocolate chip cookie. My Ultimate Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Cookies are just that. These cookies call for a little more work than you typically expect from one of my recipes, and the recipe is specific, but they’re worth every bit of extra effort. This recipe makes the biggest, gooiest, meltiest, chewiest (I could go on for days here) cookies you’ve ever had. Stick to the recipe; as with most baking, it’s a science. Swapping out ingredients could lead to cookies that are too thick or ones that spread all over the place.